The Walking Dead: The Big Scary U

"Good meeting, people. Now let's make today the best today it can be."

Apparently, office politics will survive the apocalypse. That's discouraging.

But it was rather fun to discover who's actually good at their job over on the Savior side. Possibly the only good thing about Negan is that he values people as a resource and refuses to kill indiscriminately, as he helpfully proclaimed more than once during this episode. But not all of his lieutenants feel the same way.

There was a lot about Simon this time, and you know, I'm starting to think Simon might not have long to live. Why? Because he doesn't understand Negan. Simon was ready to slaughter Maggie's allies at the Hilltop. He was convinced that the cowardly, idiotic Gregory could keep the remainder under control, and was buttering him up with breakfast. "You fill your belly up with my love." Really? I initially thought Simon was deliberately playing good cop to Negan's bad cop, but then I realized he wasn't smart enough to be playing a part. And apparently, Simon has done some "backsliding" before. Killing people without permission, perhaps?

Regina was much like Simon, talking about sacrificing a whole lot of workers' lives in order to get the important people like herself a shot at getting out. Firing on the workers in the hallway as Negan was arriving might have been a fatal mistake on her part. And Gavin might be the real wild card. He was smart enough to conclude that the enemy has a mole in their camp. He was also smart enough to be frightened when the AlexKingHill contingent arrived.

Of course, Eugene and Dwight were operating at a whole other level. Dwight was showing genuine leadership as well as concern about the well being of the workers; if I didn't already know he was Rick's double, there would be no way to tell. Dwight has successfully kept his secret from everyone, including Eugene. I was actually a bit upset that Dr. Smarty-Pants figured out it because of the paint stain on the duffel, because I care about Dwight now. I think Eugene's heart is in the right place and he desperately wants to be back in Alexandria with his friends, but he is also well aware that he's the prime Benedict Arnold candidate. Betraying Dwight might be Eugene's only way to stay alive, and he'd certainly do it.


Meanwhile out in the trailer, Negan was putting his chief management principle into practice by kinda sorta befriending Father Gabriel, knowing he might need his help to get out of their situation. I really enjoyed the two of them verbally sparring, as Gabriel actually managed to get Negan to make, of all things, a confession.

Back before the apocalypse, Negan... worked with kids? Wow. He had a real wife that he lied to and cheated on, she died during the apocalypse, and like Morgan in the pilot episode of the series, he couldn't bring himself to take her out. Negan appears to genuinely believe that he is saving people by killing a select few, that the fear forces them overcome their weaknesses. I suppose it makes Negan a better character, knowing that he believes in his own bullshit. I suppose.

I wonder if Negan's wife was named 'Lucille?' That would be perverse.

I've been liking Gabriel a lot lately, and the way he confessed the cowardly thing he did to his own flock as well as his participation in the initial despicable satellite outpost raid made me like him more. Standing up to Negan the way he did was almost certainly the smartest thing Gabriel could do, even though I don't think he did it deliberately. (Or did he?) I think Gabriel just made Negan like him. They certainly managed to back each other up effectively in their gut-draped exit through the herd of walkers.

I was confused by what happened in the end, though. Please tell me that Gabriel wasn't bitten? Did the gut-draping thing actually make him sick, even though that's never happened before? Or did Gabriel somehow make himself sick artificially in order to get to Dr. Carson? We certainly heard earlier in the season that getting Dr. Carson back for Maggie was a huge priority. Did Gabriel stay to bust Dr. Carson out? It didn't seem like that was the plan when Gregory stole Gabriel's car, though.


Back out on the road, Rick and Daryl coming to blows was almost an afterthought, although I never took it as a serious conflict. When they learned that the Kingdom was wiped out, Daryl (being Daryl) wanted to take their brand new supply of explosives and kill everyone at the Sanctuary. Rick said no, because Rick has a plan and it doesn't involve killing the workers or pushing them into taking Negan's side. After some wrestling and illegal choke holds, the dynamite inadvertently got blown up. So much for that.

Bits:

-- "U" is for "unknown."

-- Negan constantly mentions dicks, assholes and masturbation; it's unpleasantly juvenile. Not to be outdone, Simon mentioned a "thick and veiny show of force surrounding Gregory" when discussing killing Maggie's people at the Hilltop.

-- Loved during the flashback how Negan and his lieutenants all looked bored out of their minds while Gregory was talking. Dwight even popped out for a smoke, which took real chutzpah for a traitor.

-- Dwight has finished creating that homemade chess set. Gee, nothing symbolic about that.

-- This episode ran long again. It always feels to me like the show is getting too full of itself. We're a big deal, AMC can't make it without us, so yeah, we can run as long as we want.

-- What was that helicopter? And what's the Fat Lady? Was the helicopter the Fat Lady? Can she sing?

Quotes:

Gregory: "Negan, I don't like killing people any more than you do."
Negan: "I like killing people."

Negan: (to Gregory) "I think you are a thin-dicked politician threading the needle with your thin, thin dick."

Negan: "People are a resource. Money on the table. (yelling and pounding Lucille on the table) People are the foundation of what we are building here!"

Negan: "Your friend Rick is an asshole."
Gabriel: "You're an asshole."
Negan: "Yeah. I am. But he's gonna get people killed."
Gabriel: "By you."
Negan: "See, I killed the widow's husband and the ginger. But I didn't get them killed. That was your boy Rick. Big difference."

Gabriel: "What I fear is a fruitless death."

Rick: "You're the only one?"
Chemical outpost survivor: "Me, the King, the Axe Man. And a short-haired psycho lady."
Great description of Carol.

Eugene: "I was doing my level best to stay fully on the DL, but sometimes the mouth-brain neuronal connection experiences a misfire and foot met mouth at an unavoidable velocity."

Rick: "Choke hold's illegal, asshole."
Daryl: "Mm hmm, yes it is."

Negan: "These are putrid, decaying organs, dead blood, piss and shit that have been cooking all day in the Virginian sun. None of your people have gotten sick from this?"
Gabriel: "We're from Georgia."

Negan: "If you'll all excuse me, I'm in big need of a sandwich, a shower, and some of that wilting lion orchid deep-tissue shit that Frankie learned in San Francisco. Hell, I might do it all at once."

It was interesting to see how dysfunctional the Sanctuary Management Team actually is. Would that make this episode three out of four penis metaphors?

Billie
---
Billie Doux loves science fiction but hates horror, and is confused about why she loves The Walking Dead so much.

3 comments:

Patryk said...

Negan probalby worked in juvie. Not with kids per se but more like monsters in the making. He does have a life coach out of hell mentality with the people he torments.

Yeah that bit in the end was confusing and I think they would have showed a bite if it was zombie fever.

Refreshing episode after all the implausible shootouts of the beginning of the season and the scenes of Negan and Gabriel is what I was waiting for since the 1st ep of the season. Plus the Saviors board meeting was something I didn't know that I actually wanted to see so there's a plus.

Are the Scavengers flying that copter?

TheShadowKnows said...

This episode confirmed what some of us were saying after the first episode: everything would fall apart without Negan,so Rick and his allies were exceedingly foolish not to just shoot him when they had a chance.

I was also with Daryl in his dispute with Rick: since they (stupidly) refused to cut the head off the snake when they had a chance, the next best move is to take out the entire enemy headquarters. I mean, come one, Rick has a plan? When has one of his plans EVER worked? He's worse than Jack on Lost!

Anonymous said...

On the Talking Dead, Lisa Edelstein has an interesting theory: Simon was originally the leader, and things were largely chaos until Negan came along. Perhaps Simon was a Caligula-esque figure, maybe a Jeff Kober's Joe writ large.

I did like seeing the Saviors bicker. I'd like to see Gavin have a larger part; he's an interesting character. Negan is unfortunately still not working, especially due to all the juvenile dick jokes that just don't work. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a fine actor, but he's very much miscast. I would've preferred Steven Ogg as Negan, his Simon is much more intimidating with a lot of presence and charisma. I hope he sticks around.

Seth Gilliam was the MVP though.